August 4, 2009

Box Office Update 7/31-8/2: Funny People Laughs All the Way to the Bank

As predicted, Funny People topped the weekend's box office grosses. The film proved to be popular, but did not live up to the expectations that had been heaped on it. Well, the quality was there, but the people did not come out as expected. I thought it would have no issue reaching the low $30 millions, but instead it seemed to struggle to its final take of $22.6 million. Hopefully the movie will show some legs as it is a quality film that displays the next step in Judd Apatow's growth as a filmmaker and his ability to deftly blend drama and comedy. This one seemed to be a bit more personal in nature, and that is what likely caused the dramatic bent the film took. If nothing else, it should be seen for the fine performance from Adam Sandler.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price leveled off in its third weekend in the wake of the IMAX opening. It slipped less than 40% and crossed the quarter million mark, I do not see it having a problem legging past $300 million. Unless this week is a fluke, that is. I enjoyed the sixth Potter-centric film, but it is by no means one of the best. Hopefully it will prove a good transition into the final two films.

Slipping from first to third is the latest live action feature from the House of Mouse. G-Force had a decent hold in its second week, probably better than it deserved. The funny thing is that it narrowly missed pushing Harry Potter to third place! There is less than half a million between them. Although I predicted it to finish in that order, I think it would have been interesting had it come to fruition.

Fourth place is home to the lone film of the top ten to slip more than 50% from last week. The Ugly Truth begins its slow journey down the chart. It will still end up with an admirable take, but it will be forgotten in short order. What was it about again? I kid, I kid.

Aliens in the Attic finished fifth this week, scarcely making a dent with its $8 million take. That cannot bode well for its eventual success, meaning it will have to wait for DVD to do better business. I cannot comment on the movie, not having seen it, but I cannot say it looked all that good. On the other hand, it looked perfectly fine for the younger set at whom it was targeted.

The biggest story in the bottom half has to be the continued success of The Hangover. This R-rated comedy is in its ninth weekend in the top ten, unheard of for a film of its type, still pulling down good numbers, and extending its record as the biggest R-rated comedy at the box office, and on of the top of any genre. I am certainly surprised and happy to see its success. It will likely kill when it reaches DVD.

There was one other wide release film to hit theaters this week, but it failed to crack the top ten. It will likely fade fast and disappear to DVD racks in short order. The movie is The Collector, and it is simply one of the worst films I have seen this year. Do not see this movie.

Next weekend will see new competition from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which will likely win the weekend despite the high probability of being a bad movie. The biopic Julie & Julia, with Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, will also hit nationwide, and should pull nice numbers as it looks like a crowd pleaser. Finally, hoping to be a sleeper hit is The Perfect Getaway, a horror/thriller set in a vacation paradise starring Steve Zahn.

Two movies dropped off the top ten this week: Public Enemies (13) and Bruno (16).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
1NFunny People$22,657,780$22,657,7801
22Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince$17,909,385$255,672,2453
43The Ugly Truth$13,187,433$54,668,8412
5NAliens in the Attic$8,008,423$8,008,4231
75Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs$5,526,015$182,068,8045
87The Hangover$5,194,475$255,890,8929
98The Proposal$4,931,064$148,964,7417
106Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen$4,688,329$388,189,3206

Box Office Predictions Recap
Not a bad week, if I don't say myself. I made a couple of mistakes, but I did not do all that terribly. I got Funny People in the right place but I overestimated its take, but I think I can forgive myself. On the other hand, I also overestimated The Collector's opening, and I am glad I did. That movie doesn't deserve to be anywhere near the top ten. Overall, I was in the ballpark almost all the way down, so I cannot complain. Well, I guess I could, but why?

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Funny People$22,657,780$31 million
32G-Force$17,515,489$18 million


3Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince$17,909,385$16.5 million
44The Ugly Truth$13,187,433$14 million
55Aliens in the Attic$8,008,423

$12 million

116The Collector$3,576,296$6.5 million
67Orphan$7,525,419$6 million
78Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs$5,526,015$5.5 million
109Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen$4,688,329$4.5 million
810The Hangover$5,194,475$4 million


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